Immersive virtual reality (VR) can be fun and exciting, but there are some things you need keep in mind in order to use it safely.
First, think about the space you will be using and the fact that your eyes will be covered. When you put the goggles on, you will want to make sure you are in a place where you can turn all the way around. At the same time, you will want to be sure you aren’t too close to anything that you might bump into or knock over. (A swivel chair placed on a carpet works well when using Floreo, but is not necessary.)
Possible Side Effects:
Some VR goggle users can experience unwanted side effects. These unwanted side effects are often referred to as “cybersickness”.
What is cybersickness?
Cybersickness is a response to the VR experience. It is not a disease. The side effects may include tired eyes, a queasy stomach or a headache. Almost every time, if you stop the VR experience, the side effects will go away.
Your eyes can get tired whenever you look at a screen that is close to your eyes, such as when you sit too close to a television, or, in this case, when you are wearing the VR goggles. Your eyes can also begin to feel tired if you wear the goggles for too long. The risk of eye strain is increased if you have an existing vision problem (such as strabismus or convergence insufficiency.) If you don’t know what this is, you can check with someone who knows your health history. Eyeglasses are not a problem; most goggles fit over your glasses so you can wear both at the same time. Floreo VR sessions can be completed in about 5 minutes or less. Keeping the VR session short will give your eyes a chance to rest between sessions.
Your stomach might feel queasy if the VR scene starts to move (even though, in the real world, you are still sitting in your chair). This is called “Sensory Mismatch”. For the most part, in Floreo VR, you stay in one place. This should keep your stomach settled. There are a few exceptions, for example, in the “Street Crossing”, you might feel like you are moving, even though, in real life, you don’t stand, walk or leave your chair. Most of the Floreo content doesn’t have this kind of movement. If you don’t like this feeling, simply don’t use the Street Crossing Learning Cards.
General Do’s and Dont’s
There are some things you can do to reduce the chance of unwanted side effects.
- Make sure you have eaten and had a good night’s sleep before your VR experience.
- Only use VR when you are feeling healthy.
- Ask for help if the goggles do not fit well on your head. The head strap can be adjusted.
- Ask for help if what you see on the screen is blurry or doubled. The goggles have knobs that you can use to adjust focus.
- If you need to turn your head, turn it slowly – no sudden jerks.
- If you start feeling uncomfortable, have an upset stomach, or feel dizzy, then take the goggles off.
- If you feel as if you want to close your eyes, blink a lot, or squint, then take the goggles off.
- Follow the instructions to take the goggles off after 5 minutes, in order to give your eyes a break, even if you do not feel any unwanted side effects.
Virtual reality can be a fun experience for most people, but it is not for everyone. Don’t use immersive VR if you suffer from epilepsy, migraines, vertigo, or psychosis. The VR experience could exacerbate your symptoms.
Remember, if you ever feel uncomfortable, feel free to take the goggles off! And don’t forget to have fun!